Emile Heskey is confident Aston Villa's players will keep Ashley Young's feet on the ground if he becomes affected by constant speculation involving him and a big-money move.
Young, currently preparing with Heskey for England's FIFA World Cup™ qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday, was linked with Real Madrid, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool before the transfer window closed on 1 September. Heskey knows it is crucial for Villa to hold on to the winger should the interest be rekindled when the window reopens in January.
He said: "Ashley has been linked with a few moves here, there and everywhere. But he's firmly here, and we want to keep him here. He's a good lad, so I am sure he can keep his feet on the floor - but if not, there are a few lads at Villa who will do that for him.
"He's done brilliantly and he's gone from strength to strength. You can see the confidence with which he is playing his football and the confidence he has got in his own ability."
Heskey also feels Young is capable of having a more prominent role with England in the forthcoming months. He said: "You've seen people force their way in and fall away. I hope he can force his way in and stick there.
"He's got that ability. He did well when he came on in the last World Cup qualifier with Andorra and he's got that confidence to go past any defender. Sometimes it takes an injury just to get your foot into the door - and then that's your chance to shine and make the most of the opportunity."